Sunday, 7 August 2016

Monarchs 2016

We have released 4 monarchs in the past week. 

The first one was a male.
This is its first flight. See the dots on the hind wings? That's the male identifyer.
Back inside, one of the ones in the Bug Bottle was getting ready to emerge. The chrysalis goes clear and the wings can be seen through it.
Another in the big jar was also getting ready to emerge.
I caught a couple of pics of it emerging and determined it was a female - no black dots on the vein of the wing.
When the Bug Bottle butterfly emerged, I put a stick in it so the adult could crawl out and take its time drying its wings.

This can take a couple of hours so I put up the umbrella for shade.
This morning, the last adult emerged. It was a male. Again, I took it outside and put up the umbrella.
The orange drops on the leaf were from the adult after it emerged. It takes a while for the wings to expand fully, dry out, and be ready for flight.
 Meanwhile, in the bug bottle, the two remaining larvae were chowing down.
video

I suspect they will pupate in a day or two.
The newly emerged adult hung in there for over an hour.
It took me a long time before the wings opened.
It looks like I'll only get to release a total of 6 this year. WAY down from previous years, especially last year's 10. There really was a shortage of eggs everywhere I looked.

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